Even as I type the title ‘Blog Post’ I feel like an imposter in a world where I really have never felt I fitted! Recent events have thrown me into an online universe which in the past I have fairly successfully managed to avoid or at most tap into only when absolutely unavoidable! In the last 2 weeks I have spent more time looking at a computer screen than I would ever have chosen – I am ‘video-calling’ friends and family, accessing online lectures at college, supporting my three children with school work set and submitted on the internet, teaching patients how to do exercise programmes via a video link and then the icing on the cake – embarking on a journey of discovery into online counselling.
So why the internet repulsion? (in my mind the idea of 2 magnets repelling one another apart!). Most of my life I have worked as a Physio – using all my senses to assess and treat my patients – observation, listening and especially touching. Face to face is where I am absolutely comfortable and this was absolutely enough until I went off on maternity leave only to return 8 years later and find that everything was computerised and I had ‘missed the boat’ and was on the ‘back foot’. Suddenly all NHS records were online, we communicated mainly by email and even exercise programmes had to be devised using an online system. There were words I didn’t understand, rules that didn’t make sense, procedures that had multiple steps that I couldn’t seem to retain and it took me 3 times as long as my colleagues to achieve anything. I felt like a dinosaur! I was thrown back into the deep end (as often happens) without adequate IT training and I drowned. Lack of patience being something I struggle with anyway, I found the IT work so draining and an impossible waste of my time when I could be doing more useful ‘hands-on’ things that actually made a difference in the world!
I lasted for a couple of years in a role that felt like it had changed beyond recognition, but I would honestly say it was the IT that finally broke me. I left the NHS and found work in a private company where records were still hand-written, everyone seemed to share my dislike of IT and I felt like I could swim again! Of course, I’ve had to learn the basics, so I can receive and send emails, communicate with others on Facebook, search for information on the Internet (and shop!), and write/submit an essay. I frequently burst with an exasperated ‘I hate computers!!’ – to which my long-suffering husband comes running and rescues me.
So, to the idea of an online training course to work online!! I obviously have mixed feelings about the whole idea – I can see what an amazing opportunity it is and I feel like I am being personally challenged to embrace it and change some of the deep-rooted issues I have with IT! I felt disempowered when Covid-19 put a stop to my client work and I found myself wishing for more skills and understanding that would have allowed me to continue to work with them in a way that wasn’t face to face, if only for the interval needed. I am only just approaching the end of my second year of counselling training so this would not naturally be a time when I would be choosing this module of learning. However I do believe in the idea of perfect timing and making the most of unexpected situations even when they do feel challenging!
I am nervous about juggling other responsibilities while I learn, but also excited to be moving forwards and achieving something new at a time when so much else feels like it is ‘on hold’. I have appreciated the pre-course information and suggestions for getting organised before the course starts – it makes me feel like it will be manageable and containable around the other demands on my time at present.
Vikki at Cedar Tree Counselling